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The Flower of American Womanhood

On Veteran’s Day the Shelburne Falls Area Women’s Club, and the greater community, celebrated some of the women who have served in the Armed Forces. The women on the panel above, left to right, are Georgette Devine (Marines 1944-46), Trice Heyer (Army nurse 1967-72), Sandra Lucentini (Air Force 1988-92), and Sandra Magill who is still serving as a Reservist after 27 years in the Navy.

It was luck that we got to hear stories from four of the Services and hear how things have changed for women over the decades. Georgette was a mechanic, but a girdle was part of the uniform during WWII. Trice served as a nurse in Saigon and she reminded us that you don’t have to be on the battlefield to be deeply affected by war and feel the effects for years. Sandra Lucentini was sent to language school for a year, then recieved additional training in Russian and cryptography before being sent to Berlin right after the Wall came down. She was able to see the radical changes in Germany unfold. These women were all young when they enlisted, and though patriotic, they were looking for adventure as well.  Sandra Magill was a local high school teacher but it didn’t take much of a push to get her to enlist in the Navy. She was sworn in two days before her 35th birthday. Three days later and she would have been too old!

All three women served at historic moments, and they had stories to tell.  I was honored to be there for a wonderful evening.

On this Blooming Friday I celebrate these women who continue to bloom and make a difference in our community.

This potted annual verbena is the sole flower I have blooming outside on this Blooming Friday, but if you visit Katarina at Roses and Stuff you’ll find gardeners who may have a milder climate or more skill than I do.

Blooms and the Big E

Foxy Lady Dahlias

Foxy Lady Dahlias

The wind and the rain have knocked the dahlias down, but the colds, night time temps in the 40s, don’t seem to bother them at all.

The cosmos are bowed down as well, but just as beautiful and healthy.



We are at the beginning of the bloom season for Boltonia. The plants have very sturdy stems, about 4 feet tall, and the flowers are small and fringey. Great for autumn bouquets.

Double Red Knockout

Double Red Knockout

This rose is also standing tall and continuing to bloom!  There are reasons to have new hybrid roses in the garden, especially if they are this hardy and trouble free.

We have enjoyed the Heath Fair and the Franklin County Fair, so this year, for the very first time, we decided to go to the Big E.  This is the Eastern States Exposition with acres of fun for all. Less agricultural stuff than I thought, but we found enough.

UConn Dairy Club exhibit

UConn Dairy Club exhibit

The University of Connecticut still has a Dairy Club; they brought beautiful cows. There wasn’t too much other livestock because it was switchover day. Cows had left, but other cows had not yet arrived.

Each of the State buildings did have lots of promotion for their dairy farmers, and well as growers of cranberries, fruits, eggs, jams and jellies, beef, pork and ice cream Ben and Jerry, we love you!

Giant Pumpkin

Giant Pumpkin

Art Kacziniski of Erving, giant pumpkin grower, won 2nd prize at the Big E!  I think it was his giant pumpkin that broke the scale at the Franklin County Fair.

It was nice to see the 4-H exihibits and know that those kids are really busy and productive.

Actually we could see that a lot of kids are busy and productive. It was Westfield Day and in the daily parade we got to see lots of busy kids, several bands, gymnasts, Scouts and cheerleaders. It does give one hope in the future.

Big E cream puffs and eclairs

Big E cream puffs and eclairs

It was tough, but we did leave without stopping at the famous eclair and cream puff concession. The day was full enough.

Visit Katarina’s  Roses and Stuff and see what else is blooming on this Blooming Friday.

Dahlia Season – Blooming Friday

Katarina at Roses and Stuff invites us all to share what is in bloom on Blooming Fridays.  How many more will there be before the cold shuts down the outdoor show?

I’m  sure I have the name of this dahlia somewhere.  The cosmos are from Renee’s Garden seeds.

Foxy Lady has already made her way into bouquets.

Patty Cake has just begun blooming.

This nameless hydrangea has been blooming for over a month.

I love Red! Especially scarlet zinnias.

Crimson Stargazer lilies lean up against the burgundy cotinus. I never let the ‘smokes’ form.

The surprise rose bloom was this Purinton pink rambler. A sizeable root was given to me earlier this summer. It not only survived the transplanting, it is blooming!  I can’t wait until next summer.  Other roses are still blooming (in some measure) too: Double Red Knockouts; Meideland landscape roses in red, and white; Applejack; the new Pink Grootendorst; Corylus and Thomas Affleck.

I Got Lucky

In a check out impulse I bought a not very promising bag of bulbs at my garden center last fall. I set them up in the basement where they were very slow to show any activity, and very slow to throw up flower shoots when I finally brought them upstairs. I think my house is so cold that they didn’t get much hint that spring, even a false indoor spring, was approaching. But the wait was worth it. I have recently become enamored of pink daffodils, and just by chance, here they are. Lit by the sun I can almost believe spring will arrive outside.

For more Blooming Friday beauties visit Katarina’s Roses and Stuff.